Computer programs for chess composition

I’m going to speak about some of the most popular solving programs for chess composition. Of course, I can comment only the programs I use, so I’ll start from them. But first of all I’d like to tell THANK YOU! to all the programmers, who spends their time to write these programs, to improve them, to answer user’s questions and who still have to hear our critics sometimes…


Popeye is a chess problem solving and testing software which supports orthodox and fairy chess genres. The program was originally created for MS-DOS in 1983. Under Windows it works in command prompt. The last version is available at

The advantages:

  • support of fairy stipulations
  • support of fairy pieces
  • support of fairy conditions and combinations of them
  • fast solving
Inconveniences, the users might have:

  • no user interface
  • no graphics
  • some frequent problems users have (topic of further discussion)

I’m going to show on the examples (for Windows):

  1. How to install popeye
  2. How popeye works
  3. How to avoid some frequent problems the users have
  4. How to use interfaces programs together with popeye

 …Read more…


WinChloe is a software devoted to chess problems written by Christian Poisson. The program supports fairy pieces, conditions,  shows themes, has a big database. It is really very powerful! Also, I’d like to add a comment that Mr. Poisson replies to the emails very promptly!

The advantages:

  • support of fairy stipulations
  • support of fairy pieces
  • support of fairy conditions and combinations of them
  • searches and shows themes
  • has graphical interface
  • has a database of more than 400 thousands problems
  • has options for filtering problems and adding queries
  • has diagram images in graphics and RTF(for publishing)
Problems, the users might experience:

  • not very friedly user interface (without a good help)
  • at one time can be used on one computer only (unless you buy the 2nd,…etc license to use it simultaneously)
  • in case of a crash of the program or your Windows, the program in some cases corrupts the database currently opened (do make backups often!!)

I’m going to show some actions you can do with this program, and also useful options and settings of it. Please also leave your comments/questions for me to know what might be useful to write about!

 …Read more…


Ankona is a web-based program for diagram imaging, storing and solving chess problems, written by Ilja Ketris (Latvia). The site is commissioned by the WFCC. The program uses web interface, has it’s own databases of problems and authors, uses popeye as a solving engine. So, at Ankonayou can use all the pieces and conditions which uses popeye. This is my lovely and primary soft.

The advantages

  • You can work with any web-browser from any computer to use the program
  • You have your own database of problems accessible from any place
  • Graphical interface for diagrams
  • Solving interface with popeye as a solving engine
  • Supporting fairy stipulations, conditions, pieces – whatever popeye supports
  • Possibility to make problems private and public, to share your problems online with other users.
The disadvantages

  • Fairy pieces have to be entered into diagrams using notation
  • The server might be overloaded and too slow for solving

…Read More…

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